"Spin-Off" into the International Year of Natural Fibres

A note from Kathleen: There's so much going on in the knitting/yarn/fiber world lately, and we're all so lucky to have access to it through Interweave's various publications. Spin-Off magazine, for instance, is a wonderful resource for spinners, but as a knitter, I find several things of interest in each issue I see. There are some really neat features in the upcoming fall 2009 issue of Spin-Off (which will be on the shelves on September 15), so here's editor Amy Clarke Moore to give you a little preview of the exciting offerings in this unique, fiber-lovers' magazine, including an amazing declaration from the United Nations to honor natural fibers.

Spinning Off into the International Year of Natural Fibres

I've been the editor of Spin-Off since 2000—and so far I've worked on thirty-eight issues. Wow, has that time flown by!

Each issue, I think, "This is my favorite. Our readers are going to love this one." Well, this time, with the Fall 2009 issue, my feelings about the issue exceed that feeling by one hundred-fold. Maybe it is because it was so fun to come up with a concept for this one.

The United Nations has declared 2009 the International Year of Natural Fibres (IYNF) and Spin-Off magazine is all about natural fibers every issue, every year, every second (well, occasionally we talk about man-made fibers, but mostly we talk about natural fibers).

Once we jumped up and exclaimed, "Yes! Let's celebrate the IYNF! in the Fall 2009 issue of Spin-Off," we sat back down again—rather quickly with our hands on our chins—"Wait a sec. How do we celebrate natural fibers in a way that we haven't done before in every single issue, every single year since the magazine was born over thirty-three years ago?"

Then it hit us, we're all about making yarn from scratch, let's look at the very beginning of cultivating fiber—we'll investigate growing cotton, raising silkworms, and look into being owned by goats. We'll put out a call for entries by our readers and invite them to show us what they've made absolutely from scratch.

So even if you never pick up a spindle, as a fiber enthusiast you're bound to find something in this issue of Spin-Off that captivates your imagination.

Fall Leaves Shawl Project

You'll love the Fall Leaves Shawl project: six spinners/knitters made eleven stunning versions of the same lace shawl using different techniques for achieving color and texture in the shawl. At left are some samples of this beautiful shawl. You'll see even more samples of the shawl, plus get the pattern, in the fall issue of Spin-Off.

And there's yet another exciting knitting feature in this issue. . .

The Horseshoe Cap: Get into the Spin-Off Gallery!

Here's a pattern we're giving to members of our website: The Horseshoe Cap by Janet Wray (photo at right). We've invited spinners to spin and knit their own version of the Horseshoe Cap to submit to our Handspun Gallery for the Summer 2010 issue of Spin-Off. Guidelines are here. Join spinningdaily.com and receive the pattern free!

(When you join Spin-Off.com, you'll need to provide your email and a username. You'll get a confirmation email, then you'll log in to the site. When you're there, go back to this window, and click the free project link. Click on the green download arrow on the right and you'll get the free pattern.)

A note about the Horseshoe Cap pattern: Since this pattern is written for spinners, it starts off with "Finishing," which we knitters expect to see at the end of a pattern. In this case, the finishing section talks about finishing up the actual making of the yarn before starting the knitting process. So don't be alarmed—if you're using mill-spun yarn, just skip to the second paragraph under the "Finishing" heading and cast on.

Here's to a year full of fiber adventures!

—Amy Clarke Moore
Editor, Spin-Off

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